Budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd said on Friday it will prioritise hiring employees of Jet Airways Ltd who are losing their jobs after the crisis-hit airline halted all flight operations indefinitely this week.
"We have already provided jobs to more than 100 pilots, more than 200 cabin crew and more than 200 technical and airport staff," said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, Reuters reported.
"As we expand and grow, we are giving first preference to those who have recently lost their jobs due to the unfortunate closure of Jet Airways," Singh said, according to a PTI report.
Hundreds of Jet Airways employees protested in Delhi and Mumbai on Thursday to push its management for answers about their future after the airline shut down all flight operations on Wednesday having failed to secure new funding from its lenders.
Jet Airways has lost many employees as the crisis unfolded. About 400 pilots have moved to other airlines, leaving Jet with about 1,300 pilots, a senior Jet pilot told Reuters. About 40 engineers have also left, a senior engineer said.
SpiceJet, the Gurugram-based no-frills airline has already announced induction of 27 more planes -22 Boeing 737s and five turboprop Bombardier Q400s - in the fleet to help overcome to an extent the capacity deficit due to Jet Airways temporarily withdrawing its domestic and international services.
The carrier Thursday announced the launch of 24 new flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi with 16 services connecting Mumbai and four Delhi while the remaining four connecting the two metros. These flights are set to be rolled out between 26 April and 2 May.
Earlier this week, the carrier said it will connect Mumbai to a host of international destinations with direct non-stop flights to Hong Kong, Jeddah, Dubai, Colombo, Dhaka, Riyadh, Bangkok and Kathmandu, starting May-end.
Low cost carrier SpiceJet said that it is making all possible efforts to minimise passenger inconvenience. "SpiceJet is making all possible efforts to minimise passenger inconvenience and serve Indian customers who are finding it difficult to get seats in this busy season," Singh added.
Lenders, led by State Bank Of India, say they are hopeful of a successful bidding process for Jet. The carrier is saddled with about $1.2 billion in debt.
The government plans to form a committee to temporarily allocate takeoff and landing slots left vacant by the grounding of Jet's flights, a senior official said on Thursday. Local airlines including InterGlobe Aviation Ltd and state-run Air India are likely to benefit.
Air India on Thursday offered special fares to passengers stranded in international routes due to Jet's grounding.
(With inputs from agencies)